I had a Christmas panic attack today. It came when I found out I might need a root canal. My reaction to it was out of out of proportion to the event.
Christmas has definitely been easier this year than it has been in the past, but my feelings of disconnection, guilt and anger have been lurking under the surface, looking for a place to manifest. I’m hypersensitive, vulnerable and defensive.
I worked at the Cambridge Co-op today. I do that 3 and 3/4 hours once a month for a 15% discount and a connection to my community I wouldn’t otherwise have. Of all the people I talked to, only two seemed happy about the holidays.
The days get dark and cold, I said to one of my co-workers, we get depressed and try to make ourselves feel better by having a celebration.
I was pretty low, but found my strength by walking in the woods and talking to Jon. By getting out of my own head and into the community.
I’ve been meditating every night when I wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning. A guided Yoga Nidra meditation. It helps to rearrange my brain for a while. Last night I dreamed of eating cake and ice cream, of smoking a cigar and blowing smoke rings. (the idea of smoking a cigar is nasty to me, but in my dream it was a good thing) Of my cousin hanging sheets on a clothesline and saying the wind would blow them clean.
Yesterday and today, I hung lights on the house. Now it glows in the darkness. A warm and welcoming place. That doesn’t happen in the summer when it stays light till 9pm. I close the curtain in the living room at night, not because I think someone might be looking in (there’s no one out there except the animals) but because the dark windows look hard and cold. Curtains soften the room. It’s a sweet place to be in the winter.
But still my energy drains. My self-confidence plummets. It becomes hard for me to make decisions or feel good about myself.
In my studio I undo the stitches from the fabric I sewed on my quilt yesterday. I work all morning taking things apart and sewing them back together again. When I leave my studio in the afternoon, I feel good about what I’ve done. I believe the quilt looks better than it did in the morning.
My art always brings me back to myself. Reminds me who I really am.
Every year I work at making the holidays better. Every year I get a little closer.